Usually, in order to get to know the image someone wants to project of themselves to the public, you need look no further than their social media accounts. There, details of every life event, relationship status, and meal are documented in what is often referred to as the "highlight reel."
But for those in relationships, does over-sharing every life event help or hurt the pairing? And does this tendency reveal signs of a truly healthy and happy relationship?
Social media use has been linked to depression and excessive Facebook use linked to damaging intimate relationships, but when it comes to social media and the healthiness of a relationship, there isn't necessarily a link. However, when used in excess or abused by one or both partners, some experts warn it can lead to problems.
Patrick Markey, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Villanova University, told ATTN: that as long as social media is used in a responsible manner, it shouldn't have an impact on a relationship. "I would never try to read between the lines to judge the relationship quality," Markey said in regards to the frequency and content of a person's posts about their relationship.
"One of the interesting things I notice is that we tend to only post positive things on our social media for the most part, so even in a troubled relationship you may look at what they post, and it will be the optimistic posts," Markey explained. "We tend to be positive."
The ATTN: team honestly shared how much they post about their relationships online, shining some light on the role of social media in their relationships. The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
"I very rarely post about my relationship — in fact, I never post commentary about my relationship. Every two-three months or so, I'll post an Instagram or Facebook photo of us. But that's only when we're like doing something fun/interesting — not posting for the sake of posting. Courtney and I have been dating for six years, and I'd definitely describe the relationship as healthy and loving." - Kyle Jaeger, Staff Writer
"I've been with my boyfriend for about five years. I never write statuses about us, but I do have a tradition of tweeting funny things my boyfriend says, probably one to two times a month. I'll Instagram photos of us when we're doing fun things, but not on a regular basis. About zero to one times a month, and I usually share those photos to Facebook, as well." - Ally Bernstein, Junior Creative Strategist
"Only around major holidays and relationship milestones (Halloween, Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day, anniversaries and his birthday). We'll have been together two years on April 4! Yes, I am happy." - Liv Enriquez, Receptionist/Office Assistant
"I'll post a picture of my girlfriend on social roughly once a month. We've been seeing each other for almost five months. I would say our relationship is healthy most days but we've definitely had our moments. Overall, very happy and open with each other." - Alexis Magnan-Callaway, Brand Partnerships Account Executive
"Only social media I mess with is Facebook and I think I post relationship stuff once or twice a year. We do take photos on outings and shared of moments but none make it publicly online. We've been together for about five years and, yes, I would say the relationship is healthy and happy." - Janelle Cummins, Motion Graphics Designer
"I rarely post pictures on Facebook, only if it's a special occasion (like v-day, a trip with the boo, etc). Snapchat/Instagram story I'll include him if we're out doing something (or even at home), but it's mostly used as a tactic to annoy him/get him to pay attention to me. I don't care if anyone views it. He doesn't look at either really and it bothers him so it's mostly reward for me. I'm lovable. I've been with the bro for over a year, and in a pretty happy and healthy relationship." - Yimu Xue, Creative Producer
"On average I post on Facebook about my relationship once every week or once every two weeks. I've been in a relationship for four years. I'm in a happy and healthy relationship." - Chenelle Jackson, Supervising Producer
"I post about my relationship online once every two to three weeks — not necessarily commenting on my relationship but pictures of things I'm doing with my boyfriend. I've been in a relationship for three years, and I would say it's happy and healthy! Occasional bumps, of course, but overall great." - Chloe Sacks, Partnerships Manager
"I'd say once or twice maximum in a two week timeframe — usually a photo accompanied by a status on Facebook. and sometimes a quick snap. We've been together for six months." - Jake Giles, Product Manager
"I never really post about my relationship. Yes, I don't mind others knowing and it isn't 'a secret' but people who over-post about their relationship annoy me and I don't want to be like them. Six years! And we're happy and healthy and beyond." - Kyle Fitzpatrick, Freelancer Writer
"15 years, married 10. Post mostly on holidays and anniversaries and birthdays. Occasional Instagram shoutouts." - Brad Haugen, Partner
"I've been with my boyfriend for over four years. I don't post a lot about him on social media (except for bday, V-day shout outs, or on vacation with him). He posts nothing about me - he's not big on social media to begin with. I would say it's a stable, good relationship." - Sarah Gausepohl, Social Media Coordinator
"I would say I post about once every month (but only as of like the past three months). I've been in a relationship for 1.5 years, and I'm happy and healthy!" - Nanea Fujiyama, People Operations Coordinator
"On average... I'm probably posting something specific about my relationship once every several months. Been in a relationship 10 years, married for three - I think my relationship is happy and healthy!" - Katherine Starros, Head of People Operations
"I post about major changes in status, i.e. I announced our engagement on Facebook and later our wedding, but I don’t post day to day stuff. I primarily use Twitter (which syncs to my Facebook) and that’s almost entirely political. I reserve more detailed things for direct conversations (phone or in-person). Also, I’m under orders from my husband to never post a photo of him or his name online (there’s literally one reference to him by name anywhere online, and it’s pretty hard to find). LOL" - Sean Robertson, Senior Developer
"I've been with my wife for seven years, married for five. Looking back on my Instagram page, it looks like I've posted three photos of us together in the last couple of years — so it's not a super frequent thing. However, my wife is also my best friend, and we do communicate a lot on social media. I'll share her status updates about politics or cultural issues, and she'll do the same. We'll also troll each other (lovingly) on Facebook and Twitter. We met online, we work online, so it's kind of obvious that'd we communicate there as well." - Dave Fonseca, Lead Editor